Staycation Fail

It was all my idea.

When my husband found out he had a couple extra days free before his new job began, he wanted to do something ‘different’. (My husband is very big on ‘different’) Flights to Chicago, or Baltimore, or Atlanta, he said, were at an all-time low rate. I was thinking…two days? The flights alone will take at least half a day. That leaves ONE day to explore a city. So, being the practical and supportive wife that I am (well, sometimes), a STAYcation popped into my head, and why not? We live on Hilton Head Island, for gosh sakes, and NEVER explore the plentiful amenities.

Hyped, and immediately on board, he made reservations at The Sonesta Resort, for which – as a huge bonus – he had points! We got the two nights free! We fluttered around in preparation, packed, dug out our swimsuits, put our bikes on the rack, and headed out.

Upon arrival, we were heady with the tourist spirit. Jim wanted to pretend we were from somewhere exotic. (As I said, he is big on ‘different’) I refused, of course, but he told perfect strangers that he wanted to do it and that seemed to satisfy him. I just rolled my eyes. We oohed and aahhed over the soaring, beautifully decorated lobby, walked the property, and visited the beach. Ate dinner at the resort restaurant. In short, we did what every tourist on the planet that walked through the Sonesta’s doors did. That night, I tossed and turned and could NOT get to sleep.

The perpetrator

The next morning, we enjoyed a sunrise beach walk, then ran home to feed the cats, and ended up eating breakfast and hanging out at our house. A good thing, because one of the cats had gotten stuck in the spare bedroom and, bless his heart, had nowhere to relieve himself other than the bed or the floor. Fortunately, he chose the bed, and I simply threw the whole lot of bedclothes into the washer and threw away two pillows. Easy. Cat poop and pee on the rug is an entirely different matter, and worthy of new carpeting. Yay for Felix who had the discernment to know the lesser of two kitty-evils. With a big sigh of…oh, I don’t know…resignation? we drove back to the resort (all in the name of ‘different’) and resumed touristing in our own playground. We went to the beach. We watched the tourists. We had lunch in the poolside bar. We tromped out to the parking lot, unloaded our bikes and rode around Shipyard on their lovely bike paths. We went back to the hotel. Up to the room. Lay on the bed and studied our phones for an hour. After a while we both realized that we were…what? Yep. Bored.

I missed my cats. I missed my deck. I missed my view. I missed eating food that wouldn’t make me gain weight. (Why don’t restaurants have keto-friendly menus now, anyway?) So when Jim asked where I wanted to go for dinner, I said…wait for it…


He laughed. “Really? You do?”

“I do. What about you?”

Silence. (He has to ponder things)

“I guess I am kind of bored.”

“Me too. And I miss my cats.”


“You sure?”

Sigh. “What do I tell them when they ask why we’re leaving early?”

“Why do you think you have to give a reason?”


“We can stay if you want,” I said.

“That’s okay. I want you to be able to sleep.” (Jim can be really sweet sometimes)


So we went home. Both of us felt relieved.

Moral of story: Staycations don’t really work unless the location is far enough away from home base that it is inconvenient to return, or home base doesn’t have the greatest location or view.

We now know that in our case, since we can rule out BOTH of those things…staycations just don’t work.

At all.

The end.

Taken on our Sonesta Beach sunrise walk

Amazing Podcast that Blew My Mind

Fran Lewis is a legend with writers.

She is a professional reader, an author, and a person of note. She gave me a list of questions about a month ago that gave me the chills and made me dig deep…so deeply into the motivations of my characters that I feel a fresh wind blowing for finishing the next book in the series!! After answering these questions for her podcast I felt empty. Okay Fran, let these people hear it!!

Here’s the link to the podcast. It’s an hour long so listen to it in little bites if you want to. It’s a lot to take in!

Finding Virtue in the Virtual

Virtual church is not working for me.

Attending church was the one day I absolutely counted on to dress up a little, force myself to put on a decent amount of makeup, and head out to enjoy the company of the faithful, learn awesome biblical truths, and belt out joyful worship songs in a group setting. Afterward, (I remember fondly…) we’d hang out and talk. My granddaughters would burst out of their classes and join us at the high tops in the lobby and we’d ooh and ahh over their latest creations. Friends would pause on their way out. We’d chat and catch up.

Now, I slouch to the couch and turn on YouTube with a sigh. I alternately gaze at my phone and the TV, because, hey, who is there to judge me? It’s too easy to be distracted at home. And I’ve begun starting at the teaching part, skipping announcements and worship songs. Because…well, it’s weird to sing alone in my house, and my husband won’t sing with me because he definitely thinks it’s strange, and so there you are.

Just not the same.

My husband and I have tried masking up and attending church, which is even weirder. As though we’ve entered an alien space where people are afraid of each other, and if we do try to share a few words, conversation is muffled and hard to understand because we are speaking through two or three layers of cloth. Not to mention that we are marched in and out of the auditorium like unwilling soldiers in an Orwellian tale.

On the up side (and there always is one) I have a much higher regard for handwashing, and give it a full twenty seconds. The tireless employees that wipe down and scrub and disinfect everything in sight, in addition to their other responsibilities, have my undying respect. I’m grateful my husband works at home and does not have to battle life in an office, which has got to be incredibly hard right now. ZOOM has been a lifesaver, and at least a connection with the outside world in which masks are unnecessary.

Life is stressful at best right now and I am pressing hard into my time with God each morning. I pray for our president, and our country. I pray for justice and righteousness to prevail. I pray for our economy, which is bouncing around like a ping pong ball, and I of course pray for the plague to dissipate and life to resume. Wisdom during a time such as this is elusive, but I reach out to God for true and honest wisdom to help me accomplish the things I’m called to do…be a good grandmother, a good wife and mother; continue to write books and not bemoan the current state of affairs which precludes an in-person book launch. The deep divisiveness of the political climate plus the hostility of left-wing rioters has affected many close relationships. Keeping channels of communication open is harder, now, and another thing that keeps me on my knees.

I’m so grateful God is my source, and not circumstances. With the amazing power of prayer, the stress, division, and fear of the unknown retreat. I have even learned to wear a mask without complaining! When we are powerless over circumstances, God lifts us above them and helps us persevere with dignity and grace.

“You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast (that is, committed and focused on You in both inclination and character), because he trusts and takes refuge in You (with hope and confident expectation).” Isaiah 26:30